ACC Game On: 02.08.12Posted by KCarpenter on February 8th, 2012
Maryland kicked off a week of excellent ACC matches by eking out a win against struggling Clemson. Terrell Stoglin‘s Superman act remains impressive as he put up 27 points on 11 shots with four steals. Maryland needed every one of those points too, as Clemson took 63 shots while the Terrapins managed only 47. Winning a game despite such an overwhelming loss in the bottle of possessions is impressive, but I still can’t help but feel that Maryland should be able to beat Clemson without such heroic offensive and defensive efforts.
The Big Game
- Duke at North Carolina at 9:00 PM on ESPN
The Blue Devils come into this game after suffering the wrath of a suprisingly feisty Hurricanes team. Miami isn’t a bad squad, but Duke should have handled the game without any problem. Their offense is as good as ever, but the defense ranks as the ninth-best in the conference. Meanwhile, Duke is inhabiting a special kind of match-up hell. Robbi Pickeral talked about the defensive problem that 6’8″ Harrison Barnes creates at small forward, but a tougher challenge in my mind will be stopping Carolina’s shooting guards. Austin Rivers might claim to be up for a spell against Barnes and Tyler Thornton is at least a partial answer to Kendall Marshall, but who’s going to spend the game trying to stop the athletic Reggie Bullock? If anyone can crack this match-up puzzle, it’s Mike Krzyzewski, who may have to reach deep onto his bench for solutions (free Michael Gbinije?). Regardless, Duke’s ability to make threes will give the Devils a chance against a North Carolina team that still surrenders too many perimeter shots. Make no mistake, Duke comes into this game as the underdog against a confident Tar Heel team that expects to win this game.
- Florida State at Boston College at 7:00 PM on ESPN3.com
- Wake Forest at Virginia at 7:30 PM on ESPN3.com
Until further notice, Florida State is the best team in the conference and Boston College is the worst. Virginia has the best defense in the conference and Wake Forest has the worst defense (as well as the second-worst offense). The Seminoles are probably due for a let-down at some point, but it seems less likely against the frustratingly incompetent Eagles. Wake Forest might have a better chance against Virginia, but it’s hard to imagine who among the Demon Deacons can stop the juggernaut that is Mike Scott. If WFU is going to have a chance to win, Jeff Bzdelik is at least going to have to take a crack at slowing down the likely ACC Player of the Year.